October 29, 2012 Sharing with district educators
Today I spent the entire day telling other educators in my district about my expedition and the types of information that's available from PolarTREC. If everyone I talked to actually follows me in the field, it should be an amazing group learning about Polar regions. I hope they check out all of the other expeditions that are getting started when mine does also.
Today was an annual event in our district that is called the Innovation Showcase. It's a time when teachers share what they've done in their classrooms with all of the other teachers in the district. It's organized to provide the presenters a day-long, continuous flow of teachers that will look, stop, and talk about what you've done and what the results were. I'm not sure what the exact numbers that I talked to were, but I started with 300 business cards and had only a few left at the end of the day. I met many of the teachers that had already signed up to get emails or whose classes had sent me piles of postcards to be mailed back to the U.S. There were administrators as well, and I know from the comments that it was well received. I also got a lot of odd looks - the kind that said maybe I should be examined for mental stability - or maybe I'd been in the classroom too long and had gone over the edge.
Looks aside, I got lots of really positive comments. Most everyone honestly had no idea what it was about, but they were genuinely intrigued by it and I am pretty sure that many of them will be following the expedition. I also got some really good support from a group of elementary school teachers who had just had their class read a book about a woman researcher who had been working at Palmer Station. They were especially excited about have a local connection that could make the whole story real for their students. I'll have a few classroom visits to make when I get back, especially from the classes that gave me things like Flat Stanley to take with me.